Tomorrow is National Wine Day, a day for wine enthusiasts to celebrate their favorite wines and wineries across the country. Here at Latinas in Business, we’re celebrating by shining a spotlight on a few Latina owned and managed wineries based in Sonoma and Napa Valley.
These wineries were founded by families and couples with a passion for winemaking, culture, and heritage. Through their companies they’re keeping family traditions alive and making a space for Latinas in the wine industry.
Keller Estate is a Latina owned winery founded by Arturo and Deborah Keller in the ‘80s and now run by their daughter Ana Keller.
Arturo and Deborah founded their winery with the focus to create a winery where the best wine could be made in an artistically majestic environment.
Their sustainably certified vineyard incorporates practices derived from organics and regenerative farming learned over the years. These practices include bee-keeping, owl and bat boxes, a flock of over 200 sheep that graze and fertilize the land, and careful management of the pond system that ensures their water supply.
Since taking over in 1998, Ana Keller works to create wines that reflect a sense of place, while in harmony with the family’s approach to elegant, age-worthy, and food-friendly wines. Ana is also a big supporter of fellow Latinas in the industry.
“One in four jobs (in Sonoma) is related to the wine business,” Ana in an article with Sonoma Magazine. “I’ve met women who think being Latina is not an asset in the wine industry. They believe it’s hard enough being female and don’t share their heritage when employers can see it as an asset. This is a time for Latinas to step up and make themselves visible.”
In 2019, husband-and-wife duo Pedro and Jenny Rodriguez acquired Fathia Wines to continue to carry the torch for first-generation Mexican-American Vintners in California. They specialize in premium, single-varietal and naturally fermented wines, delivering elegance and balance in each bottle.
Their journey in pursuit of this dream began years ago in 2003 when Pedro went to work for a winery during the summer after graduating high school. Over a decade later, in 2014, Pedro attended a family gathering where he heard about his family’s work experiences in the vineyards and in wineries. A pivotal moment, one in which he decided to change careers and return to the wine industry and continue his family’s tradition.
“We have learned that winemaking is part science and part art. We all have a story. Our story is to produce wines that celebrate our family’s efforts, investment and dedication to the wine industry,” said Jenny and Pedro Rodriguez.
Napa Valley’s Mi Sueño Winery was founded by Rolando and Lorena Herrera in 1997—the same year the couple married.
The inspirational tale of Mi Sueño is both a love story and the story of the American dream realized, one that came to fruition for Mexican immigrant Rolando Herrera as a result of hard work, raw talent, and the support of a strong community of mentors who led him along a path to success. Along with his wife, Lorena, whose family has deep roots in Napa and Sonoma counties as grape growers.
Living by the Spanish phrase, si se puede—yes, you can—Rolando and Lorena Herrera have built their dream winery with love, passion and a deep understanding of the art of growing exceptional grapes and crafting award-winning wines that are rich in character and elegance.
In 2012, with access to some of Napa’s best grapes and the support of their own team, Angelica and Guillermo founded Herencia Del Valle, a family-owned company to make and sell their own wines.
Angelica was born in Napa and was raised on a vineyard in nearby St. Helena by her father Jose Luis, a migrant worker from Jalisco, Mexico, and her mother Diane who was from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Both children of Mexican immigrants with a long and proud history of working the land, the two put their experience toward their company.
Growing up, Angelica developed a deep appreciation for the demanding work associated with the vineyards and was proud to see her father steadily become a successful vineyard manager graduated from business school with a degree in Business Administration. Angelica’s love of farming, together with her outgoing personality and business knowledge, have been instrumental in the couple’s decision to take risks and follow their dreams.
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